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Moral Development

Essay Topic:

The elementary years can be considered as a crucial point when it comes to the character formation of a person. This is where he faces new things; knowledge and information that could greatly affect his life in the future. This is the time in the child’s life where he or she develops a concept about what’s good or bad.

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Because of this, adult intervention is necessary; parents as well as teachers should do their best in supervising every step of development their children undergoes.

In Kohlberg’s theory, the time when children enter elementary school is his second in three broad levels of moral development (Boeree, 2003). This is the conventional morality level, wherein the definition of right and wrong would usually depend on “what the people would say” (Colman, 2001). This part is what requires most adult attention, since they are the ones the children look up to, being the basis of what they would follow in the future. This stage is further divided into two sub-stages.

The first stage is the good boy/good girl stage, wherein children try to live up to what others expect them to be, as well as seek their approval in everything they do. It is important for adults to show them the “right things” because everything they do becomes a basis of the children’s actions. Another sub-stage is the law and order stage, where children now takes a perspective that involves the social system as well, taking into consideration the rules and laws of the society they are living in, as well as the authorities they have to follow.

At these elementary years, we can address the teaching of moral development in schools by devising or structuring out what should be taught to these children (Nucci, 2002). At this stage, they should be already provided with the basic laws and regulations that they should follow as a “good citizen”. These could start by introducing the school laws and regulations and relating it to the laws of the society. Another concern also would be about their teacher. These children’s teacher should be a model they could look up to as a person, so that their concept of conventional morality would depend on what their teachers show them.


Boeree, C. G. (2003). Moral Development.   Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsymoraldev.html

Colman, A. M. (2001). Conventional Morality. In A Dictionary of Psychology: Oxford University Press.

Nucci, L. (2002). Moral Development and Moral Education: An Overview.   Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://tigger.uic.edu/~lnucci/MoralEd/overview.html



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